how agricultural expansion causes deforestation



One of the main causes of deforestation globally, and in Brazil particularly, is agricultural expansion: the conversion of natural forested landscapes into food production systems.

Cattle ranching, animal agriculture, and logging are the leading causes of deforestation in our forests. The forest is cut to provide timber to build houses and create specialty wood products, or burned to make room for cattle grazing and feed crop production.Sep 20, 2019


What percentage of deforestation is due to agricultural expansion?

 · Other Causes of Deforestation Logging. Logging is the process of cutting and processing trees to create wood-based products. Large portions of our… Forest Fires. Forests are set ablaze to clear space for cattle and feed crops, taking vegetation and wildlife with them. Expansion of Infrastructure. …

How does infrastructural expansion lead to deforestation?

and finally agricultural expansion occurring. Nevertheless, strong regional differences exist, making general conclusions difficult. Agriculture as a driver for deforestation In Africa, deforestation is caused mainly by small-scale farming and fuel wood collection, while in Latin America it is driven more by

How does smallholder agriculture contribute to deforestation?

 · What are the 7 causes of deforestation? Mining. The increase of mining on tropical forests is furthering damage due to the rising demand and high mineral prices. Paper. Overpopulation. Logging. Agriculture Expansion & Livestock Ranching. Cattle ranching and deforestation are strongest in Latin …

What are the main causes of deforestation?

 · A 2011 literature review points out that 80% of direct deforestation in the region is due to land clearing for cattle rearing and 20% from soy cultivation. However, a lot of soy cultivation is on already deforested pastureland. Soya expansion, Pacheco says, “forces cattle production deeper into the forest.”


How does agriculture affect deforestation?

Some 80% of global deforestation is a result of agricultural production, which is also the leading cause of habitat destruction. Animal agriculture — livestock and animal feed is a significant driver of deforestation, and is also responsible for approximately 60% of direct global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

What are the effect of agricultural expansion?

In recent decades, the acceleration of agricultural expansion — but also land use intensification — has resulted in a significant negative impact to tropical rainforests, leading to deforestation, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and changes to watershed hydrology and water balance (Lathuillière et al., …

How does agriculture cause deforestation in the rainforest?

Deforestation is the conversion of forest to other land uses, such as agriculture and infrastructure. Worldwide, more than half of forest loss is due to conversion of forest into cropland, whereas livestock grazing is responsible for almost 40 percent of forest loss, according to the new study.

Is shifting agriculture causes deforestation?

Abstract. About half of tropical deforestation is commonly explained by the expansion of traditional agriculture (shifting cultivation).

What is the cause of agricultural expansion?

The agricultural expansion is often explained as a direct consequence of the global increase in food and energy requirements due to continuing population growth (both which in turn have been attributed to agricultural expansion itself), with an estimated expectation of 10 to 11 billion humans on Earth by end of this …

How does agriculture impact the environment?

Agriculture is the leading source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, air and soil. They also can remain in the environment for generations.

How does agriculture cause deforestation and how can we prevent it?

Meat production is a leading cause of deforestation. It destroys animal habitats, cripples biodiversity, and increases GHG emissions in our atmosphere. Consumers often unknowingly support deforestation by purchasing foods, animal byproducts, and wood products sourced from unsustainable operations.

What agriculture methods cause desertification?

Desertification occurs when the anthropogenically induced degradation exceeds the ecosystem’s restorative capacity. The major causes of desertification include overgrazing, overcultivation of marginal land, unsustainable ‘slash-and-burn’ agricultural practice, logging for fuelwood, and poor irrigation techniques.

What do you mean by agricultural expansion?

Agricultural expansion is the conversion of nonagricultural lands to agricultural lands, for example, conversion of forested lands to crops, wetlands to rice fields or fishponds, or natural grasslands to pastures.

What caused deforestation?

Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization. Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation.

How does overpopulation cause deforestation?

However there is good evidence that rapid population growth is a major indirect and over-arching cause of deforestation. More people require more food and space which requires more land for agriculture and habitation. This in turn results in more clearing of forests.

Why is shifting agriculture a wasteful method of cultivation?

Shifting agriculture is a wasteful method of cultivation because it causes forest loss. It is one of the most cause of deforestation. It is the greatest enemy of forest. It is the cause of the global warming also.


What are the factors that affect deforestation?

Agricultural Activities. As earlier mentioned in the overview, agricultural activities are one of the significant factors affecting deforestation.

What are the causes of deforestation?

The most common pressures causing deforestation and severe forest degradation are agriculture, unsustainable forest management, mining, infrastructure projects and increased fire incidence and intensity.

What is the biggest driver of deforestation?

Agriculture is the direct driver of roughly 80 percent of tropical deforestation, while logging is the biggest single driver of forest degradation, says a new report funded by the British and Norwegian governments.

What are the effects of the loss of trees?

The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere , and a host of problems for indigenous people.

What were the factors that contributed to the expansion of agriculture?

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the abundance of land, available labour and the mobility of peasants were three factors that were responsible for the constant expansion of agriculture.

Which region has the strongest deforestation?

Cattle ranching and deforestation are strongest in Latin America.

What is agricultural extension?

Agricultural extension (also known as agricultural advisory services) plays a crucial role in boosting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth.

What is the biggest cause of forest loss?

The biggest cause of forest loss – accounting for around 70 per cent – is agricultural deforestation, notably for beef, soy, palm oil and commercial timber. Soy ranks as the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation after cattle products.

Why is the EU involved in agriculture?

The EU is involved mainly because European farmers rely on imported soy from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to use as animal feed. Of all the soy meal consumed in the EU, 83 per cent goes in concentrate feed for pigs and poultry.

Why is the EU involved in the production of soy?

The EU is involved mainly because European farmers rely on imported soy from Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay to use as animal feed. Of all the soy meal consumed in the EU, 83 per cent goes in concentrate feed for pigs and poultry.

What are the causes of deforestation?

In North America for instance, wood removal and fire are the major causes of deforestation [25]. In the Asia Pacific region, fire, wood removal, and expansion of estate crops are dominant causes of degradation and deforestation [26], [28].

What is the rate of deforestation in Africa?

Africa has a relatively high rate of deforestation compared with other continents [19], [24]. Assessments in West and Eastern Africa demonstrate the highest rate of deforestation. West Africa has had average annual net loss of 0.13% from 1990 to 2015 while Eastern Africa has had annual net loss of 0.19% from 1990 to 2015 [19]. Pastoralism, small-scale farming, and expansion of industrial tree crop estates have contributed to forest cover loss on the continent [37]. Much of the forest in the western part of the continent, especially in countries such as Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, are now mosaics of agricultural crops and modified natural vegetation [14], [37].

How long has Ghana been deforested?

Ghana’s forest cover has been declining since before 1986 [29, 35] and the protected forest reserves in the Ashanti region are an example ( Fig. 3 and Table 1 ). The decline in dense forest over the 29-year period was similar to what was recorded for the entire country between 1980 and 1985 [35]. The extensive deforestation that took place within the 5-year period (1980–1985) partly resulted in the state of the dense forest cover as at 1986 ( Fig. 3 ). Since 1990, the annual deforestation rate for Ghana has been estimated at 0.6% [19]. The Ashanti region is the second largest host of forest reserves in the country and has recorded annual deforestation rate of 0.5% higher than the country’s overall estimate [21]. Although the estimates may differ due to different assessment methods used, evidence shows that deforestation in Ghana occurs more in the most forested areas and the Ashanti region is one of them [14, 31]. The continuous clearing of the forests in the study area will lead to loss of biodiversity and other ecosystem services and threaten the livelihoods of forest dependant communities.

What are the deforestation rates in Ghana?

Ghana’s protected forest reserves have suffered average annual deforestation rates of 0.7%, 0.5%, 0.4%, and 0. 6% for the periods 1990–2000, 2000–2005, 2005–2010 and 2010–2015, respectively. The Ashanti region has recorded the second highest deforestation rates. Despite the government’s efforts to maintain and protect Ghana’s forest reserves, deforestation continues. We observed deforestation patterns in the Ashanti region of Ghana from 1986 to 2015 using Landsat imagery to identify the main causes of deforestation. We obtained and processed two adjacent Landsat images from the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) National Centre for Earth Resources Observation and Science at 30 m spatial resolution for 1986, 2002, and 2015. We then supported the results with findings from 291 farm household surveys in communities fringing the forest reserves. By 2015, dense forest covered 53.3% of the land area of the forest reserves, and the remaining area had been disturbed. Expansion of annual crop farms and tree crops caused 78% of the forest loss within the 29-year period. Afforestation projects are ongoing some of which employ the participation of farmers, yet agricultural expansion exerts more pressure on the remaining dense forest. Agricultural intensification on existing farmlands may reduce farm expansion into the remaining forest areas. Strengthening and enforcing forest protection laws could minimise the extent of agricultural encroachment into forests. Mixed tree-crop systems could reduce the effects of arable farming on deforestation, limit the clearance of trees from farmlands, enhance the provision of ecosystem services, and improve the soil’s fertility and moisture content. A forest transition may be underway leading to more trees in agricultural systems and better protection of residual natural forests.

How has human activity affected the biodiversity of Ghana?

Human activities mainly agriculture, and illegal and unselective logging have degraded 85% of Ghana’s Guinea Forest Region, a severely threatened World Biodiversity Hotspot [9]. In addition, unsustainable logging and agricultural activities that occurred between 1993 and 2010 had led to a 50% decline in forest understory birds [9]. The maintenance of forest biodiversity in Ghana is contingent upon the regulation of human activities within the forests. Strict enforcement of environmental laws is key to effective regulation of human activities such as illegal logging and farming that trigger deforestation and subsequent biodiversity loss.

How has biodiversity declined over the last three decades?

Global biodiversity and other ecosystem services have declined markedly over the last three decades [19], [24]. Much of this loss has resulted from human-induced degradation and deforestation [41]. In North America for instance, wood removal and fire are the major causes of deforestation [25]. In the Asia Pacific region, fire, wood removal, and expansion of estate crops are dominant causes of degradation and deforestation [26], [28]. Protected areas have been created in an attempt to curb deforestation and biodiversity loss [14], [27]. Assessments of global trends of deforestation in protected areas have shown the extent to which protected areas could reduce forest clearing [27], [32]. The extent to which forest reserves (these are just one category of protected area) curb deforestation in African countries however have not been adequately assessed [12]. Mapping the trend of deforestation within forest reserves demonstrates the effectiveness of forest reserves in reducing deforestation and the spatial factors causing deforestation in the continent.

What is the main cause of forest encroachment in Ghana?

To sum up, this research has demonstrated that increased agricultural production is the main factor behind forest encroachment in Ghana, just as has been found in other developing countries [8, 34]. Addressing deforestation in developing countries therefore requires collaborative action between foresters and agriculturalists. While foresters continue to protect and sustain the remaining forests, further research is required to investigate how farmers, especially in forest fringe communities in developing countries, adopt progressive but sustainable agricultural practices as a way to enhance yields but also restore the fertility of farmlands and subsequently lessen the pressure on forest for fertile land.

What is deforestation linked to?

Deforestation Linked to Agriculture. This indicator aims to monitor the role of specific commodities—namely, cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee, and wood fiber—in deforestation. Glossary The change from forest to another land cover or land use, such as forest to plantation or forest to urban area. linked to agriculture.

How much deforestation has occurred in Brazil?

5 Much of this deforestation occurred in Brazil (21.8 Mha, or 48 percent), followed by Paraguay (9 percent) and Colombia (5 percent). The states of Pará and Mato Grosso in Brazil experienced the greatest area of forest replaced by cattle, with around 5 Mha each between 2001 and 2015.

How much of the world’s soy is deforested?

Globally, soy farms occupy 8.2 Mha of land deforested between 2001 and 2015. 17 Almost all (97 percent) of this deforestation occurred in South America, with 61 percent in Brazil, 21 percent in Argentina, 9 percent in Bolivia, and 5 percent in Paraguay. The Brazilian state of Mato Grosso had by far the most forest replacement for soy, accounting for over one-third of the total. Within Brazil, 48 percent of forest area replaced by soy occurred in the Amazon, with an additional 45 percent in the Cerrado.

Why is soy expansion important?

In addition, research has suggested that soy expansion is tightly linked to deforestation for pasture; as soy production expands into former pastures, it pushes pasture farther into forested lands and increases the value of land. 11 As such, the high numbers presented here for forest area replaced by cattle may not be the result of direct demand for beef or dairy production but rather due to displacement caused by other crops or speculation.

What countries have rubber plantations?

In the seven countries where rubber plantation data are available (Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia), rubber plantations replaced 2.1 Mha of forest between 2001 and 2015. 23 However, the analyzed countries account for only 40 percent of total rubber production, with important producing countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam missing due to a lack of data. 24 Of the countries analyzed, Indonesia experienced the most forest replacement by rubber plantations (1.0 Mha), followed by Malaysia (0.7 Mha). Whereas rubber was traditionally cultivated as part of intermixed agroforestry operations, monoculture plantations now dominate rubber production. 25 Deforestation on land later used for rubber plantations markedly increased from 2001 to 2012, then declined through 2015, following a similar pattern to the price for rubber, which dropped off after 2011. 26

How long did deforestation occur before oil palms were planted?

To better assess forest areas that were cleared and more immediately planted with oil palm, the analysis can be constrained to identify areas in which deforestation occurred during the four years prior to the establishment of the oil palm plantation.

How many acres are in a hectare?

Glossary One hectare equals 100 square meters, 2.47 acres, or 0.01 square kilometers and is about the size of a rugby field. A football pitch is slightly smaller than a hectare (pitches are between 0.62 and 0.82 hectares). of land deforested between 2001 and 2015 in each of these jurisdictions.

What are the causes of deforestation?

Direct causes of deforestation are agricultural expansion, wood extraction (e.g., logging or wood harvest for domestic fuel or charcoal), and infrastructure expansion such as road building and urbanization. Rarely is there a single direct cause for deforestation.

What are the activities that lead to deforestation?

Activities that lead to deforestation differ from region to region, but they’re always economic in nature. Palm oil, logging, raising cattle, and even charcoal production are all ways people can pull themselves out of poverty in developing countries.

What is the cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest?

Cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. In Brazil, this has been the case since at least the 1970s: government figures attributed 38 percent of deforestation from 1966-1975 to large-scale cattle ranching. Today the figure in Brazil is closer to 70 percent.

Why is logging bad for the environment?

The reason that logging is so bad for the climate is that when trees are felled they release the carbon they are storing into the atmosphere, where it mingles with greenhouse gases from other sources and contributes to global warming accordingly.

What is the removal of large areas of forest or rainforest?

Deforestation is the removal or destruction of large areas of forest or rainforest. Deforestation happens for many reasons, such as logging, agriculture, natural disasters, urbanization and mining. There are several ways to clear forest — burning and clear-cutting the land are two methods.

How does preserving forests help?

Keeping forests intact also helps prevent floods and drought by regulating regional rainfall. And because many indigenous and forest peoples rely on tropical forests for their livelihoods, investments in reducing deforestation provide them with the resources they need for sustainable development without deforestation.

What are the effects of the loss of trees?

The loss of trees and other vegetation can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere , and a host of problems for indigenous people.

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